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Prosecutors Charge Jesse Jackson Jr., Sandi Jackson Of Misusing Campaign Funds [UPDATE]

By Chuck Sudo in News on Feb 15, 2013 9:20PM

Former congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. announces his candidacy for Congress in 1995 with wife, former Ald. Sandi Jackson, at his side and Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. standing behind them. (Photo credit: Denny C. Johnson)
Former congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. is expected to formally plead guilty to a single count of using campaign funds for personal use Friday, per the plea deal he signed last week. Prosecutors are expected to ask for a prison sentence between 47 and 57 months. Although the judge could simply sentence Jackson to probation, odds are on him serving prison time.

Politico is citing sources close to the investigation, reports prosecutors are also calling for a fine between $10,000 and $100,000 and forfeiture of the $750,000 in misspent campaign funds Jackson is believed to have spent for personal use. For the first time, details have been revealed as to the depths of the ongoing investigation into Jackson’s wife, former Ald. Sandi Jackson.

Politico says Sandi Jackson, who served off and on as her husband’s campaign manager and treasurer, is expected to plead guilty to a tax offense. Prosecutors allege the Jacksons spent the $750,000 in campaign funds on a Rolex watch, home improvements, tuition for their children, trips and other amenities, and to pay bills. Prosecutors even conducted a sting on the couple in August 2012 where an undercover employee bought two stuffed elk heads from a Montana taxidermist with campaign funds.

If Sandi Jackson pleads guilty, she’s expected to receive probation as prosecutors will consider the Jackson’s status as parents of school age children. That hasn’t stopped Sandi Jackson from believing her husband has “thrown her under the bus” as the Sun-Times reported last week.

Update: Both Jesse Jackson Jr. and Sandi Jackson have been formally charged in Washington, DC, Friday afternoon. Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. is in Washington with his son and daughter-in-law where he told the media, “This is a painful ordeal, but with love and prayer, we’ll get through it.” Jackson has had a strained relationship with his son over the years and he said his son is still dealing with bi-polar disorder via a "strict medical regimen."